orange hat and solid Stihl
suspenders, my father has decided to paint the blade of his favorite shovel
hunter's orange and lop off its tip with a silicon carbide industrial grinder
in a blaze of sparks in order to skim soil better. But when he does, it is just
too perfect and he cannot let it go, never lets it go. The men begin to call
him Linus as he begins to spray-paint sledgehammers, mortar mixers, dike
pliers, truck tires, all his fingers, all his mornings, his entire maw,
hunter's orange. It is all over the place and I don't know whether it is
talisman or addiction, all I can remember are the sparks. I'm behind the silo
gouging my fingers into soil in search of buried arrowheads, but when I see his
hunter's orange form approaching me like a zombie, dragging his shovel slowly
across the shop's concrete floor, I know that perfection is exactly what we
have always feared. From the tiny pile of what's been collected, I select two
slivers of imperfect flint, lean back and smack them together to launch an
orange spark that hovers like the lodestar, pulling everything directionless,
while somewhere between us the tomahawks have begun.
Lightning over the Mekong
lines down, lanterns up,
mulberry wine eddying
in a wineglass cracked as
twilight, fractured though
and I'm sensing total
blackout in Cleveland. My
parallel to the Mohican,
by the slow incantation of
threatening to bitch-slap the wayward
windshield wiper of the
and tuned-in to WQKT to see
if his one Indians game of
the year's been called off.
Two monks stop at the table
for a clandestine
English lesson in darkness;
with definitions less known
father: originator, founder, inventor, or
the figure beneath the willow, casting corn cobs
to members of the Corvus family as alms.
son: a male thought of as if in relation
to a formative influence [a son of revolution].
riverbed: the channel in which a river flows,
or has flowed, or will flow toward the willow.
Gracious despite the logic
metaphor, they invite me to
a wat fortressed
by cobalt shadows and an
alleyway of bells.
Third glass. Vision
adjusted. Third inning –
a line drive ripped to deep
left-center, a tight white ball
of sticky rice placed at the
stone foot of Buddha.
High in the nosebleed
section I hear
him drop the nachos, clap,
as if he'd just witnessed
birth of his first and
sedentary: not migratory, as some birds.
Before lotus and incense, I
to offer what I never fully
his willow – myself – and he
soaked, the spring-loaded
bobbing in mockery, to watch
the monstrous blue
tarpaulin being pulled over
settling over the seventh
cancellation like a bad
of crows or the carpet
bombing of Laos.
bedrock: the solid rock beneath the soil and
Obsidian outside the temple
A father and son are selling
of Mekong seaweed by
my father's face is
by the dome light as he
the door to the pickup in
the parking garage.
I buy two squares. Eat one.
dredge: a net attached to a frame, dragged
along the bottom of a river, a bay, a son, etc.
to gather shellfish, to gather years, to gather. . .
Southbound now in the
he kills the radio's
Almost bald enough,
the willow, crows, Mohican
he scratches his leg in
the folds of the monastic